Volodymyr Tysaniuk trades his shorts for a bullet-proof vest

A young Ukrainian athlete takes up arms to defend his homeland against the Russian invasion.

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This is my good friend Vladimir Tysanyuk from Kyiv — I’ve known him since 2016.

Beyond the fact that he is an incredible CrossFit athlete and coach, Vova is such an amazing and genuine human being whose presence is always felt. He always has a massive smile on his face and projects his good energy all around him.

Now Vova is not smiling as he fights-off Russian forces trying to take Ukraine’s freedom, and risking his life for it.

I taught him English for a short period of time but I didn’t want him to pay me because, well, he is my friend.

One Sunday evening, I receive a call from him asking me if I’m home — next thing you know, he’s downstairs with massive jars of homemade pickled cucumbers and tomatoes he brought back for me from his family’s datcha — small countryside houses, or cabins even.

Eastern Europeans have these small pieces of land outside of cities to escape urban life and relax. They often garden there and store these massive “Bankas” (jars) of pickled food.

Vova gave me so many bankas that I had to bring bags to unload the trunk. I had enough for three months. It was so good.

Vova is also a proud honey producer.

I just want you to understand what it feels like to share memories with dear friends and see them take up arms to defend their land, their cities, their families — and datchas.

I know that Vova will do a hell of a job protecting his right and his fellow Ukrainians’ right to freedom. I would honestly not like to have to fight against him.

That picture of him getting ready for battle – however proud I am to be his friend – resonates very strangely for me.

Vova is just one of many of my friends having to defend their homeland against the Russian invasion.

Helping REUM is helping them directly.

We make sure that all that is given and/or sent ends up in the right hands, and we even take the more pricey equipment we buy thanks to you ourselves.

Here’s the link for you to contribute to the cause.

Help Vova defend his home.

Next post A man looses his family after Russians bomb his house near Kyiv- Volodymyr Petrov
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